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Oct 05, 2012 - 05:24 PM
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Top 10 For Camier In First WSB Qualifying
Posted by: newsla on Oct 05, 2012 - 05:21 PM
Top 10 For Camier In First WSB Qualifying

FIXI Crescent Suzuki's Leon Camier produced a top-10 performance in today's first qualifying for the final round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Magny-Cours in France that sees him provisionally into tomorrow's Superpole.


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Camier started the weekend at the 4,411m French circuit in fine form as he recorded the third quickest time in this morning's first free practice session, on a damp track. The Englishman then carried that performance through to the afternoon and was regularly pushing for a position further inside the top-10. Camier will be looking to consolidate and improve on his time tomorrow morning to ensure his participation in Saturday's top-16 shoot-out.

John Hopkins registered 32-laps around the Magny-Cours track today on his first-ever visit to the venue. He is having to learn the circuit from scratch, having never visited there before, and was not able to get up to speed as quickly as he would have liked due to this morning's difficult conditions on a damp track. Hopkins is sure he will improve the times on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R in the final qualifying and confident of making Superpole.

Today's fastest time was set by one of the three protagonists still in with a chance of taking the title on Sunday. Tom Sykes on a Kawasaki took the honours today, with rival Marco Melandri in third and current championship leader Max Biaggi in eighth.

FIXI Crescent Suzuki has the final qualifying session of 2012 tomorrow morning when Camier and Hopkins will be aiming to qualify for the afternoon Superpole session, to give them a chance of good starting positions for Sunday's races, the first of which is scheduled for 12.00hrs local time (11.00hrs BST), with the second due to start at 15.30hrs local time (14.30hrs BST).

Leon Camier:

"This morning was pretty good, but when we made some changes in the afternoon, I didn't feel particularly comfortable. We also tried out a few different tyres, but the one we expected to work wasn't so good and that hampered us at the end of qualifying. However, the FIXI Crescent Suzuki is definitely not a million miles off and I know that there's quite a bit more to come tomorrow.

"I'm suffering a bit from tendonitis in my right wrist - it's an ongoing thing - it's OK at some circuits and not so OK at others. It's not a big deal and it's not going to affect me on race-day. I had a bit of a problem today with flies, there were swarms of them on the track and sometimes they almost covered my whole visor - that made seeing where I was going a bit interesting!"

John Hopkins:

"My first time here, so I spent most of the day learning the track - which is a quite a physical circuit - but it doesn't have many blind approaches, so it's a lot easier to learn than Portimao. Once I sort out my braking markers, I'll be able to push a lot harder and shave off those last fractions-of-a-second.

"This morning's session on the FIXI Crescent Suzuki was really good and I managed to get into a good rhythm whilst learning the track. At the end of this afternoon's qualifying, I didn't have the tyre I liked most and I'm sure I could've gone a lot quicker otherwise. I'm confident I can make bigger steps tomorrow and really attack Superpole."

Jack Valentine - Team Manager:

"The day started off pretty well with Leon third and John 14th, which I think was good considering that this is his first race here. I would've liked both of them to have been a bit further up the order in qualifying today, but Leon is not far off the front row and John will get a lot better for sure. There's definitely room for improvement, but both riders are happy with their FIXI Crescent Suzukis, and so I expect both to qualify for Superpole."

Magny-Cours - eni FIM Superbike World Championship - Qualifying 1: 1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'38.200: 2. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1'38.648: 3. Marco Melandri (BMW) 1'38.742: 4. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) 1'38.962: 5. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1'39.014. 10. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) 1'39.285. 17. John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) 1'40.538.

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